June 19th, 2018

New 6mm Creedmoor Cartridge Brass from Lapua

Lapua 6mm 6.5mm Creedmore cartridge brass prs tactical varmint annealed

In the PRS game, the 6.5 Creedmoor has ruled the roost. However more and more serious competitors are moving to the 6mm Creedmoor cartridge because it offers lower recoil and a flatter trajectory (with some bullets). If you are a fan of the 6mm Creedmoor — take heart. Lapua has started production of 6mm Creedmoor cartridge brass, which should hit American shores later in the year. Yes this 6mm Creedmoor brass has small primer pocket and small flash hole — allowing it to stand up to repeated loading cycles with stout pressures.

Here is the official announcement…

Lapua 6mm Creedmoor Cartridge Brass

Lapua is pleased to announce the new 6mm Creedmoor case, a necked down version of the extremely popular 6.5mm Creedmoor designed to produce higher velocities, flatter trajectories, and reduced recoil.

Lapua 6mm 6.5mm Creedmore cartridge brass prs tactical varmint annealedCustomer demand for a 6mm version followed almost immediately after the release of the original Creedmoor case. Aside from the neck dimensions, our new 6mm Creedmoor cases shares the same features and characteristics that make Lapua the standard for 6.5 Creedmoor brass. It is a beautifully-drawn case, properly annealed at the neck and shoulder, with head metallurgy specifically chosen for durability, and the same small rifle primer, small flash-hole design that delivers the ultimate accuracy edge. The smaller 6mm bore diameter offers an excellent selection of proven low-drag match bullets that offer outstanding long range performance with even less recoil.

While the original 6.5 Creedmoor was designed with NRA High Power competition in mind, other disciplines, including the Precision Rifle Series (PRS), were quick to see the positive attributes of this cartridge. We know Lapua’s latest offering will find a niche with discerning shooters in demanding competitive disciplines.

We expect Lapua’s new 6mm Creedmoor cartridge brass to be favored by High Power shooters and serious varminters as well as tactical competitors. The Lapua 6mm Creedmoor cases will be available in the USA later in 2018.

The new Lapua 6mm Creedmoor Brass will definitely be a hit with PRS Competitors…
Lapua PRS tactical varmint hunting 6XC 6mm Creedmoor cartrdige brass
Photo from Ramia Whitecotton’s GAP GRIND 2016 photo album.

New product tip from Boyd Allen. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, New Product, News, Tactical 11 Comments »
June 19th, 2018

Quick History of Silhouette Shooting

Silhouette Centerfire high power history formation Mexico Ram Pig Chicken livestock

The NRA Blog ran an feature on Silhouette shooting by NRA Silhouette Program Coordinator Jonathan Leighton. Here are selections from Leighton’s story:

NRA Silhouette Shooting
The loud crack from the bullet exiting the muzzle followed by an even louder ‘clang’ as you watch your target fly off the railing is really a true addiction for most Silhouette shooters. There is nothing better than shooting a game where you actually get to see your target react to the bullet. In my opinion, this is truly what makes this game so much fun.

Metallic Silhouette — A Mexican Import
Silhouette shooting came to this country from Mexico in the 1960s. It is speculated that sport had its origins in shooting contests between Pancho Villa’s men around 1914. After the Mexican Revolution the sport spread quickly throughout Mexico. ‘Siluetas Metalicas’ uses steel silhouettes shaped like game animals. Chickens up front followed by rows of pigs, turkeys, and furthest away, rams. Being that ‘Siluetas Metalicas’ was originally a Mexican sport, it is common to hear the targets referred to by their Spanish names Gallina (chicken), Javelina (pig), Guajalote (turkey) and Borrego (ram). Depending on the discipline one is shooting, these animals are set at different distances from the firing line, but always in the same order.

Before Steel There Was… Barbeque
In the very beginnings of the sport, live farm animals were used as targets, and afterwards, the shooters would have a barbeque with all the livestock and/or game that was shot during the match. The first Silhouette match that used steel targets instead of livestock was conducted in 1948 in Mexico City, Mexico by Don Gonzalo Aguilar. [Some matches hosted by wealthy Mexicans included high-ranking politicians and military leaders]. As the sport spread and gained popularity during the 1950s, shooters from the Southwestern USA started crossing the Mexican border to compete. Silhouette shooting came into the US in 1968 at the Tucson Rifle Club in Arizona. The rules have stayed pretty much the same since the sport has been shot in the US. NRA officially recognized Silhouette as a shooting discipline in 1972, and conducted its first NRA Silhouette Nationals in November of 1972.

Now There Are Multiple Disciplines
The actual sport of Silhouette is broken into several different disciplines. High Power Rifle, Smallbore Rifle, Cowboy Lever Action Rifle, Black Powder Cartridge Rifle, Air Rifle, Air Pistol, and Hunter’s Pistol are the basic disciplines. Cowboy Lever Action is broken into three sub-categories to include Smallbore Cowboy Rifle, Pistol Cartridge Cowboy Lever Action, and regular Cowboy Lever Action. Black Powder Cartridge Rifle also has a ‘Scope’ class, and Hunter’s Pistol is broken into four sub-categories. Some clubs also offer Military Rifle Silhouette comps.

Here is a rimfire silhouette match conducted by the Sporting Shooters’ Assn. of Australia.
Silhouette Centerfire high power history formation Mexico Ram Pig Chicken livestock

Where to Shoot Silhouette
NRA-Sanctioned matches are found at gun clubs nation-wide. There are also many State, Regional, and National matches across the country as well. You can find match listings on the Shooting Sports USA website or contact the NRA Silhouette Department at (703) 267-1465. For more info, visit SteelChickens.com, the #1 website dedicated to Silhouette shooting sports.

Permalink Competition, Shooting Skills 11 Comments »
June 19th, 2018

Handguns in Carry-Ons — Don’t Let An Oversight Land You in Jail

TSA Airport security baggage pistol revolver handguns confiscation seize violation arrest airline

Many of our readers carry handguns for personal protection, and many of those folks travel regularly through airports. It IS legal to take a handgun on an airline flight (if you follow the rules). But for goodness sake — declare the weapon as required by law and comply with all TSA and Federal regulations. Do NOT just toss your pistol in your carry-on and expect to board the plane. About 4,000 pistols were discovered in carry-on luggage in 2017. That can result in seizure and confiscation of the weapon, and just might land you in jail!

Gun writer Dean Weingarten recently wrote an article about handgun seizures at airports. Remarkably, in a single week (5/18/18 to 6/3/18), 97 handguns were found in carry-on bags at U.S. airports.

Handguns in Carry-On Baggage

Report by Dean Weingarten, ©2018 by Dean Weingarten, GunWatch Blog
During the week of 28 May to June 3rd, 2018, the TSA discovered 97 pistols in carry-ons at airports where security is controlled by the TSA. The collage of pistols shown above is a sample of those found.

TSA gives a list of the pistols found. The list shows the make, model and caliber of most of the pistols. There were 93 pistols where the caliber was identified.

9mm pistols were still the most common, with 36 represented. .380 pistols, known in Europe as 9X17, 9mm Kurtz, or 9mm Corto, were the next represented, with 24 present. That is 70 pistols, or 75% of the pistols found. There were a smattering of other calibers. There were eight .40 caliber pistols, seven .22 LR rimfire, six .45 caliber, five .32 caliber, four .38 caliber, one .410, and one .22 magnum.

Most of the pistols were semi-autos, there were a few revolvers, and three derringers.

How does this happen? It is the principle of rare occurrences. While an event may be extremely rare for each individual, if enough individuals are involved, the occurrence of rare events becomes a statistical certainty. About 4,000 pistols were discovered in carry-on luggage in 2017. There were about 770 million travelers passing through TSA checkpoints in that year. That is one pistol found for about 194,000 passengers. Each passenger presumably went through TSA checkpoints at least twice, once going, once returning. Some passengers go through multiple checkpoints, depending on the route taken.

Let us use the 194,000 figure for simplicity. A person would have to go on a trip every day for 531 years, and only miss a pistol in their luggage once to match that percentage.

Read the rest of this entry »

Permalink - Articles, News 1 Comment »
June 18th, 2018

New Bolt Action Model 48 Nosler Custom Handgun

Nosler M48 Model 48 Nosler Custom Handgun NCH silhouette pistol bolt-action hunting varminting

You have probably never seen a handgun like this before. This ain’t no compact pistol that’s for sure. The new Model 48 Nosler Custom Handgun (NCH), designed for handgun hunting/varminting and long-range silhouette duties, features a rifle-size bolt action, combined with a 15″ barrel. The billet aluminum stock takes AR-type pistol grips. The fore-end is long enough to work well on a front rest. We like the rakish lines of Nosler’s new Model 48 but the $2495.00 MSRP is not inexpensive.

Nosler M48 Model 48 Nosler Custom Handgun NCH silhouette pistol bolt-action hunting varminting

Nosler M48 Model 48 Nosler Custom Handgun NCH silhouette pistol bolt-action hunting varmintingStill, the compact size (21″ OAL) and relatively light weight (5.4 lbs.) make this an interesting option for hunters and varminters who venture far afield.

Early production versions have been well-reviewed: “Over the last 40 years, I have shot every conceivable configuration of single-shot handguns including high-end custom rigs. The new Nosler handgun will keep up with the very best of them. In my experience, I have found this handgun to be extremely accurate, well-designed, and user-friendly. The Nosler handgun will be most welcome with handgun hunters, target and steel shooters, or anyone looking to add an exciting dimension to their shooting experience.” — Mark Hampton

The new Nosler Model 48 handgun is offered in a variety of versatile chamberings: 22 Nosler, 24 Nosler, 6mm Creedmoor, 6.5 Creedmoor, 7mm-08 Rem, and .308 Winchester. CLICK HERE for a discussion of M48 NCH options in our Shooters’ Forum.

Nosler M48 Model 48 Nosler Custom Handgun NCH silhouette pistol bolt-action hunting varminting

Nosler M48 Model 48 Nosler Custom Handgun NCH silhouette pistol bolt-action hunting varminting

Nosler Custom Handgun Model 48 Features

1. Shilen Barrel — The M48 NCH features a free-floated Shilen 416R stainless heavy-contour barrel threaded at the muzzle, and supplied with a thread protector. Standard barrel length is 15″ with other lengths between 12″-18″ available on request. Barrel fluting is also available for an additional charge.

2. Aluminum Stock — The CNC-milled billet 6061-T6 aluminum stock will take any grip that fits an AR15. We suggest adding a grip with a broad flat base to provide more stability.

3. Size and Weight — The M48 NCH is 21″ long with 15″ barrel (no brake) and weighs 5.4 pounds — quite a bit lighter than typical hunting rifles.

4. Cerakote Finish — The M48 NCH barreled action and stock both feature Cerakote® finishes. The barreled action and stock are coated separately, allowing for a wide variety of color combinations.

5. Muzzle Brake Option — A Harrell’s Precision Tactical 4-Port Brake (shown below) is available as an extra-cost addition.

Nosler M48 Model 48 Nosler Custom Handgun NCH silhouette pistol bolt-action hunting varminting

Permalink Handguns, Hunting/Varminting, New Product 5 Comments »
June 18th, 2018

Bargain Finder 143: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week

At the request of our readers, we provide select “Deals of the Week”. Every Monday morning we offer our Best Bargain selections. Here are some of the best deals on firearms, hardware, reloading components, optics, and shooting accessories. Be aware that sale prices are subject to change, and once clearance inventory is sold, it’s gone for good. You snooze you lose.

1. Brownells — Smith & Wesson SD9VE 9mm, $249.99 with CODE

Smith Wesson SD9V 9mm carry pistol handgun bargain brownells

The two-tone Smith & Wesson SD9VE 9mm pistol features contrasting stainless-steel slide and barrel. Weighing just 22.7 oz, this DAO pistol ships with two 16-round magazines, offering plenty of fire-power. Overall length is 7.2″ with a 4″-long barrel. Both front and rear sights are drift-adjustable. This is a nice medium-sized pistol that shoots well. The Smith & Wesson SD9VE is on sale now at Brownells. Sale price is currently $259.99 with a $10 handling charge. SAVE MORE: During check-out at Brownells.com, you can use code “M8Y” to receive $20 Off and get FREE delivery. That lowers your net cost to just $249.99 shipped to your FFL.

2. Natchez — Weaver 6-24x42mm V-Series Scope, $359.99

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder deals Weaver Varmint scope 6-24x40mm

The Weaver 6-24x42mm Classic V-Series scope is a smart, affordable choice for a high-volume varmint rifle, such as a prairie dog rig used from a portable bench or “war wagon”. The 6-24X zoom range provides plenty of magnification for long shots on prairie dogs. The handy Ballistic-X reticle provides multiple hold points (zero at 100 and use the lower dots for longer ranges). The front objective parallax control isn’t trendy, but it IS precise and very reliable. For a rifle that might shoot 400 rounds in a day, the simplicity and reliability of front parallax is a plus.

3. Cabela’s — Steel Gong with Frame, $69.99 (Free Ship with Code)

RCBS Chargemaster lite powder scale dispenser sale Amazon

Everyone likes shooting gongs. There’s nothing like hearing that satisfying “clang” when you hit your target, and seeing the gong swing. Ring now, Cabela’s has a great deal on a complete 10″ Gong Target System with frame. The 10″-diameter, 0.55″-thick AR500 steel gong produces sound and movement with each hit. This kit comes complete with AR500 gong, hardened steel chain, S-hooks, and powder-coated steel frame. You can put the frame together without tools, so this Gong system is easy to set up and take down. This week this Gong System is on sale for just $69.99, a $30.00 savings. Plus shipping is free when you use CODE FREESHIP during checkout.

4. LabRadar Chronograph — $50 Off, Sale Ends June 24

LabRadar Radar Doppler chronograph summer sale $50 off chrono lab-radar Bruno shooters Creedmoor

If you’ve been wanting to get a LabRadar Chronograph, now’s a good time. You can now save $50 on this very advanced piece of technology — probably the most sophisticated chronograph system ever offered to the general public. That’s notable because you almost never see this discounted below the $559.95 MAP price. You can save $50.00 on this unit now through June 24, 2018. This is a factory-authorized, once-a-year Summer Sale. The sale extends through 6/24/2018. You can get the LabRadar from top vendors including Creedmoor Sports, Bruno Shooters Supply, and Midsouth Shooters Supply.

NOTE: LabRadar has just released new software that permits control from a mobile device via Bluetooth. CLICK HERE to download. The latest LabRadar firmware will enable the Bluetooth connectivity.

5. Amazon — Midland Walkie-Talkie Set, $61.34

Midland walkie talkie handheld radio par set pack charger FRS GMRS VHF

Walkie-Talkies are “must-have” items for long-range shooting. The 50-CH Midland GXT1000VP4 Two-Way Radio set is Amazon’s #1 Best Seller among FRS/GMRS Handheld Radios. Priced under $65.00, this Midland two-unit kit includes earbuds plus both 12V and 120V chargers. This Midland set features 50 Channels with impressive range, so they’re good for hunting. These units include Vibrate Alert and 9 Levels of VOX for Hands Free Operation. There’s also a handy, Rapid Weather Scan feature.

6. Whittaker Guns — Howa Mini Action .223 Rem, $349.99

Howa Mini Action .223 Rem varmint rifle

This is hard for a varmint hunter to resist. You can get a complete Howa .223 Rem rifle for $349.99 — about the price of a replacement barrel blank for a Remington. This little gem has a smooth, short-throw Mini Action with Howa’s excellent two-stage trigger. The .223 Rem is a fine choice for prairie dog work, with good barrel life and great factory ammo options. Yes we’d prefer a heavier barrel for extended shooting sessions, but this is still a great price on a fine little rifle.

7. Amazon — RCBS ChargeMaster Lite, $186.99

RCBS Chargemaster lite powder scale dispenser sale Amazon

Need a good, modern electronic scale/dispenser? The modern ChargeMaster Lite offers good performance for the price — now $186.99 at Amazon and $187.49 Brownells. But at Brownells, with Code NCS you can get $15 off and free shipping — lowering your net cost to $172.49! That’s a killer deal — other retailers are charging up to $260.00 for this machine. Once calibrated, we found the ChargeMaster Lite’s dispensing to be very accurate. RCBS claims +/-0.1 grain. This newer machine is a bit easier to program than the original ChargeMaster. Verified purchasers have been happy, but with one complaint: “You cannot turn off the beeping. The [original ChargeMaster] has a way to mute the beeping. This one does not.” Take note.

8. Amazon — NRR 31 Muffs and Eyewear Kit with Case, $29.99

NRR 33 ear muffs eyewear shooting case ear plugs

Here is a great combo package that offers complete eye and ear protection for shooters at the range. The Ear Muffs feature a 6-piece noise filtration system that effectively blocks low, mid, & high range frequencies, giving them an impressive NRR 31 noise reduction rating. The muffs ship with a nice zippered case that also holds the supplied safety eyewear. This kit also comes with ten (10) NRR 33 foam earplugs. You can order the kit with either clear eyewear or smoke-tinted lenses.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Handguns, Hot Deals, Optics 1 Comment »
June 18th, 2018

Gun Science: Engineers Plot Shots with Accelerometers

Texas Waterloo labs Youtube accelerometer gun .22 LR pistol test triangulation
A team of Texas engineers uses the principle of convolution to plot shot impacts. By triangulating data from multiple accelerometers, each shot’s exact point of impact can be plotted with great precision.

Waterloo Labs is a group of engineers from National Instruments and other self-declared “nerds” from Austin, Texas. These folks conducted an interesting demonstration using electronic accelerometers to plot bullet impacts from a suppressed Ruger MKIII .22LR pistol. The accelerometers respond to vibrations caused when the bullets hit a drywall target backer. By triangulating data from multiple accelerometers, each shot’s exact point of impact can be plotted with great precision. These point-of-impact coordinates are then fed into a computer and super-imposed into a Flash version of the Half-Life video game (which is projected on the drywall board). The end result is being able to “play” a video game with a real firearm.

triaxial accelerometerDo-It-Yourself Electronic Target System?
Now, we are NOT particularly interested in shooting Zombies in a video game. However, the technology has interesting potential applications for real shooters. Waterloo Labs has published the computer code, used to triangulate bullet impacts from multiple accelerometers. Potentially, a system like this could be built to provide display and scoring of long-range targets. Sophisticated electronic target systems already exist, but they use proprietary hardware and software, and they are very expensive. The Waterloo Labs experiment shows that shooters with some computer and electronic skills could build their own electronic scoring system, one that can be adapted to a variety of target sizes and materials.

In addition, we imagine this system could be utilized for military and law enforcement training. The walls of structures used for “live-fire” room-clearing exercises could be fitted with accelerometers so the bullet impacts could be plotted and studied. Then, later, the impact plots could be combined with a computer simulation so that trainees could “replay” their live-fire sessions, viewing the actual location of their hits (and misses).

Credit The Firearm Blog for finding this Waterloo Labs project.
Permalink - Videos, Handguns, Tech Tip 2 Comments »
June 17th, 2018

Make This Father’s Day Something Special

fathers day 2016 father

On Father’s Day, time spent together is more important than any gift that comes in a box…

Father Father's DayToday is Father’s Day, a special Sunday when we acknowledge our patriarchs and show our gratitude for all their hard work and sacrifice on our behalf, and the love they have shown us over the years. If you’re lucky, you’re reading this after having spent a day at the shooting range (or the local fishing hole, or golf course) with your Dad. The important thing is to be together with “Pops” and do something you both enjoy together. If you haven’t finalized your Father’s Day planning, here are some suggestions:

1. Hand-wash and wax your father’s truck or car.

2. Clean your dad’s rifles, or help him put together some handloads.

3. Take your dad out to a live music concert, go to a ball game, or maybe head down to the local fishin’ hole.

4. Go for a hike together or just a drive in the country.

5. Head down to Sears or the local hardware store and let you Dad pick out some new tools.

6. Sit down with your dad, bring a note pad, and ask him to tell you some stories about his youth, or his military experience. This Editor learned some amazing things about his own father this way.

Whatever you choose to do with your father, use your time wisely. Turn off your computer, and go be with your father today. Do something with him that makes him smile. The time spent together is more important than any gift that comes in a box. And, if he lives far from you, give him a call and let him know how important he is to your life. Remind him of the old adage: “Good fathers make good sons”.

When my father, a disabled WW2 Army vet, passed away I received the flag that was draped on his coffin. On most days I fly one of those nylon flags that you can pick up at hardware or department stores. But on holidays, like today, and his birthday, Dad’s flag is out there snapping in the breeze on top of the pole. I find myself talking to him as it gets put up in the morning and comes down at sunset. Hope when the time comes one of my boys will fly my flag.
— Bill Slattery Jr.

My father used to play with my brother and me in the yard. Mother would come out and say, “You’re tearing up the grass”! “We’re not raising grass,” Dad would reply, “We’re raising boys”.
— Harmon Killebrew.

Permalink News Post comment »
June 17th, 2018

Black Rifle Blow-Ups — The Kaboom Collection

AR15 AR-15 Kaboom explosion pistol powder accident catastrophic destroyed
AR15 Kaboom big photo
This shocking photo of destroyed AR-15 bits and pieces was posted on Facebook by William Walter, a firearms instructor. William said this was “The worst AR-15 blow-up I have ever seen. The case head literally atomized …you can see the brass residue on the parts. The bolt was split in two also.”

There’s nothing inherently wrong with AR-platform rifles (well, except that they run dirty). Over the past six decades Eugene Stoner’s semi-automatic design has proven its merits in military and civilian applications. You may not know, but the original AR from 1955 was a .30-caliber. The Armalite AR-10 shot the 7.62×51 cartridge. Later, at the request of the U.S. Military, Armalite created a smaller version that became the M16/AR15. The rest was history. Now there are millions of AR “black rifles” in the hands of soldiers and sportsmen.

With so many ARs in circulation, it’s no surprise that some get used by folks who don’t know how to hand-load or otherwise fail to follow safe gun practices. The AR is actually a pretty sturdy rifle, but when it’s fed bad ammo, or abused, bad things can happen. Very bad things… commonly known as Kabooms.

Black Rifle Duplex Kaboom

The American Shooting Journal (ASJ) has compiled a set of particularly extreme AR Kabooms. Compiling the “evidence” from various web sites, ASJ has published nine (9) of the most Unbelievable AR-15 Fails. Here are two of the worst “AR-15 Fails”. CLICK HERE to see them all.

Nothing but busted parts after this catastrophic Kaboom…
AR AR16 m16 AR-10 AR-16 kaboom failure catastrophic reloads American Shooting Journal

Notice the bolt is still stuck in the barrel extension … with the rest of the gun in pieces.
AR AR16 m16 AR-10 AR-16 kaboom failure catastrophic reloads American Shooting Journal

Another view of this sad blow-up…
AR AR16 m16 AR-10 AR-16 kaboom failure catastrophic reloads American Shooting Journal

These catastrophic AR failures are eye-openers, that’s for sure. ASJ cautions: “Any weapon can fail if given the wrong ammunition, faulty reloads or a plugged barrel. Always be aware of what can happen at anytime if you fail to follow common sense and gun safety rules.”

ASJ Sources: Photobucket, Armory Blog, Pinterest, Northeastern Arms, Eric Nestor

Permalink Gunsmithing, Tactical 5 Comments »
June 17th, 2018

Don’t Waste Money on Tacti-Cool Hardware Says Larry Vickers

Training tactical tacti-cool accessories Larry Vickers AR15 Black rifle

Larry Vickers is a respected firearms trainer who has served with the U.S. Special Operations Forces (SOF). In the course of teaching classes he’s learned that many gun owners waste money on impractical gun accessories. In a well-reasoned Ammoland.com article, “Don’t Be a Tacti-Cool Fool”, Vickers examines today’s trend of over-accessorizing firearms, particularly AR-platform rifles. Vickers doesn’t mince words… he states that too many people are spending too much money on poorly-designed hardware that may be “useless” at best.

Equipment Selection Advice from Larry Vickers

Every class I teach I see and hear students talking about the realization that some things about their gear and shooting in general just doesn’t add up on the range. Everything looks good in a Brownells Catalog but a significant amount of the parts and accessories offered on the market today are: a) useless; b) poorly designed; c) of questionable value; or d) downright dangerous.

No one is better at taking fully-functional, factory-made firearms and turning them into junk than a certain segment of the American gun-buying public.

Some people really don’t apply the common sense approach of not messing with what is potentially a life-saving tool. Sadly some of those same people will get on the Internet and talk bad about how the firearm they modified no longer functions and therefore is junk. Or they will recommend to fellow shooters the same parts and modifications they have used to turn their gun into, at best, a range toy.

Some of this shows up in my classes and usually by lunch on the first day the obvious flaws of the equipment at hand become apparent for everyone in the class, most of all to the owner of said equipment. It may have cost the shooter some money but in turn he learned a serious life lesson –be careful what you read on the Internet about firearms modifications and there is no substitute for shaking out your equipment at the range in a structured class.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: you’ll learn more about guns and shooting in one class than you could in a month on the Internet.

READ about guns, gear, and shooting on the Internet. LEARN about guns, gear, and shooting on the range during well-thought-out and useful training. This approach is proven and consistently produces results and shooter confidence.

Training tactical tacti-cool accessories Larry Vickers AR15 Black rifle

Larry Vickers
Master Sergeant (Retired)
U.S. Army SOF Combat Veteran
http://vickerstactical.com

Larry Vickers is a retired U.S. Army Special Operations Forces veteran with 20+ years of service. Vickers served in Panama, the Middle East (Desert Storm), Somalia, Bosnia, and other locations. During his time with Delta Force, Vickers worked on weapons R&D, and served as a combat marksmanship instructor training new operational members of Delta.

Permalink Shooting Skills, Tactical 4 Comments »
June 16th, 2018

Janna Reeves Explains 3-Gun Competition in Videos

Janna Reeves Brownells 3-Gun multigun video strategie loading

janna reeves 3-gun brownells video female shooterJanna Reeves is one of the nation’s top female 3-gun competitors. She is fast AND accurate, and she knows how to plan her stages to achieve the best results.

In a series of videos produced for Brownells, Janna talks about the 3-Gun game, reviewing the latest trends in 3-Gun firearms and gear. Janna also provides stage-planning tips, offering winning strategies to employ in competition. Though these videos, Janna hopes to help novice shooters. In particular, Jenna hopes to encourage new lady shooters to get involved in 3-gun competition, a fun and challenge sport.

In this action-oriented video, Janna walks through a 3-Gun course, explaining how to plan shots, movements, and reloads. Janna shares tips, tricks, and strategies that can improve your hit percentage and shave seconds off stage times. Janna offers specific advice on target transitions, loading on the move, and stage planning.

Janna Reeves Brownells 3-Gun multigun video strategie loading

In this hardware-centric video, Janna explains how she set up her guns for competition and why she selects specific components and accessories. If you are just getting started in 3-Gun competition, this will help you choose firearms, holsters, ammo caddies, optics and accessories. Janna’s advice helps you get the most “bang for your buck” when assembling your

Permalink - Videos, Competition 1 Comment »
June 16th, 2018

Ladies Shooting Camps Offered by Babes with Bullets

Babes with bullets training shooting rifle pistol camp female instructors

There’s no question that females can shoot as well as men. In fact, quite a few shooting instructors have told us that women progress faster than men because females are better listeners. Also ladies are less likely to let egos interfere with the training process. Competitive shooting is one of the few sports where ladies compete directly with guys, and the women are fully capable of winning it all. Just ask Nancy Tompkins and her daughter Sherri Gallagher — both past National High Power champions.

To help female shooters improve their game, the Babes with Bullets (BWB) group offers a series of ladies-only shooting seminars around the country. There are both rifle programs and handgun programs. At these camps, BWB supplies all the equipment — including the firearms. The seminar “tuition” covers all expenses — instructor salaries, range fees, lunches, loaner guns, ammo, targets, and other required equipment.

Babes with Bullets Rifle and Handgun Camp

The BWB Rifle and Handgun Camp is for advanced beginner and intermediate shooters. Taught by an all-female team of national and world shooting sports champions, the three-day Handgun Rifle Camp is a wonderful fit for women looking to improve their handgun and holster skills while also learning more about handling a .22 or .223 caliber modern sporting rifle (MSR).

Babes with bullets training shooting rifle pistol camp female instructors

Camp fees cover instructors, range fees, lunches at the range, complementary loaner guns and other equipment. Registration is open for the upcoming Babes with Bullets Handgun Rifle Camp, October 19-21, 2018 at the CMP Talladega Marksmanship Park, Talladega, Alabama.

Babes with Bullets Handgun Camps

Whether an experienced shooter or a newbie to the firearms scene, the Babes with Bullets Handgun Camp is a great place for women to develop and improve their marksmanship skills. Taught by an all-female team of national and world shooting sports champions, these three-day handgun camps are designed to teach women to handle and operate a handgun safely and confidently. Camp fees cover instructors, range fees, lunches at the range, complementary loaner guns and other equipment.

Babes with bullets training shooting rifle pistol camp female instructors

Registration is open for the following BWB Handgun Camps:

July 6-8, 2018 at Buffalo Chip Range, Sturgis, SD
July 20-22, 2018 at Birchwood Recreation & Shooting Park, Chugiak, AK
Sept. 14-16 at Cardinal Shooting Center near Columbus, OH
Nov. 2-4, 2018 at Fresno Rifle & Pistol Club, Fresno, CA

Babes with Bullets Diamond Camp (Pistol, Rifle, Shotgun)

The Diamond Camp — the ultimate Babes camp experience — features expert handgun, rifle, and shotgun training, combined with great luxuries: a celebrity chef, a masseuse, yoga instruction, hosted bar. Plus each of the 10 campers receives aa gift certificate for a Thompson Center bolt action rifle. Taught by an all-female team of national and world shooting sports champions, the four-day Diamond event is perfect for novice through advanced shooters who want a luxurious holiday along with their firearms training. It’s pricey at $2800, but comparable with a deluxe hunting lodge.

Babes with bullets training camp rifle pistol shotgun diamond camp
The 2018 BWB Diamond Camp features a Celebrity Chef, Massage, Yoga instruction, and more.

This year’s Diamond Camp will be based at the Wild Game Inn, in Darby, Montana, about 90 minutes from the Missoula Airport. The Inn offers ATV rides, fishing, hiking, skeet shooting, and more. Camp will start the afternoon of Wednesday, August 15, with range mornings on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.

Permalink - Videos, Shooting Skills Post comment »
June 16th, 2018

Protect Your Guns with Plush, Corrosion-Fighting Bore-Stores

Bore-Store Gun Sacks

Our take on Bore-Store Gun sleeves is simple: They work great, so buy them and use them — for ALL your valuable firearms.

These thick, synthetic-fleece sacks cushion your guns, preventing nicks and scratches. The breathable fabric wicks away moisture, and the fibers are coating with corrosion inhibitors. I personally use Bore-Stores for in-safe storage with all my guns, and I have never had one of my guns rust inside a Bore-Store, even when I lived a stone’s throw from the ocean.

Bore-Stores are offered in a wide range of sizes, so you can find something to fit everything from a Snub-nosed revolver to a 32″-barrelled 50 BMG. Rifle-size Bore Stores can be purchased for $12.00 – $21.00 from Brownells. For long F-Class or tactical rifles, we recommend the 10″x52″ Scoped Shotgun Bag, Brownells item 132-000-003. You can also order direct from the Bore-Store manufacturer, Big Spring Enterprises, www.BoreStores.com. Big Spring will also craft custom sizes on request.

Get Your Guns Out of Foam-lined Cases — They Are Rust Magnets
For long-term storage, just about the worst thing you can do (short of leaving your rifle outside in the rain) is to store firearms in tight, foam-padded cases. The foam in these cases actually collects and retains moisture from the air, acting as the perfect breeding ground for rust.

Foam-lined hard caseRemember, those plastic-shelled cases with foam interiors are for transport, not for long-term storage. Don’t repeat the mistake of a wealthy gun collector I know. He stored four valuable Colt Single Action Army (SAA) revolvers in individual foam-padded cases, and locked these away in his gun safe. A year later, every one of his precious SAAs had rusted, some very badly.

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June 15th, 2018

Great Gift for Father’s Day — Custom Headstamp Hitch Cover

John Niemi Trailer Hitch Custom Cover Mount headstamp brass

Here’s a great gift for Father’s Day that any dad with a truck should appreciate. Forum member John Niemi crafts custom hitch covers that look like the end of a cartridge case, complete with head-stamp. Costing $75.00 (delivered), they are made out of solid brass with a stainless steel “primer”. The diameter of the brass is 4 inches and the engraved letters are about half an inch tall. The section that slides over the trailer hitch is aluminum, so you don’t have to worry about rust.

Niemi custom hitch coverThe “headstamp” can include your favorite cartridge-maker and caliber (wildcats too!), or you can include the name of your business. John tells us: “I can engrave any text on one as long as there is enough room for it. Turn around time is usually less then a week after payment. I have sold many of these and everyone has been extremely happy with the quality and workmanship that I put into my product. These make great one-of-a-kind gifts.”

$75.00 Delivered in the USA

The current price for brass bullet hitch covers from John Niemi is $75.00 shipped anywhere in the USA. To order, send email to JohnNiemi [at] charter.net or call (503) 440-1954. John said he should be able to offer pretty quick turn-around, unless he just gets swamped this week.

Forum member Wayne (aka WAMBO) ordered a custom hitch cover from John, featuring the 30/338 Lapua Improved wildcat he calls the 300 WAMBOMAG. Wayne reports: “The hitch cover is very well made. I’m impressed with the quality. Buy with confidence.”

How will it look on your truck? Check out this Niemi hitch cover on a vehicle belonging to Forum member ELR Researcher. The brass cover is sturdy, distinctive, and handsome:

John Niemi custom brass hitch cover

We’ve seen John’s craftsmanship on many of these hitches, and we can confirm that the hitches are beautifully made, and make a handsome addition to any vehicle. If you order one (or more), be sure to mention you learned about the hitch covers on AccurateShooter.com.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gear Review 1 Comment »
June 15th, 2018

PRS on a Budget? Savage 110 Tactical is Under $630.00

Savage Tactical 110 AccuStock PRS Factory Class

Looking for an affordable PRS Factory Class rifle? Savage has released an updated version of its model 110 that may fit the bill. The new Savage 110 Tactical comes in Grey or Desert Tan in three popular chamberings: 6mm Creedmoor, 6.5 Creedmoor, and .308 Win. Street price is under $630.00. The 110 Tactical features a user-configurable stock with internal sub-chassis. It also features a suppressor-ready threaded barrel, a one-piece +20 MOA scope rail, and 10-round detachable box magazine. The Savage Accutrigger is adjustable.

Competitors will want to know about barrel configurations. All 110 Tacticals have medium-heavy contour barrels with threaded muzzles (and thread cap). 6.5mm Creedmoor versions sport a 24″ barrel. The 6mm Creedmoor version has a 26″ barrel, while the .308 Win is offered with either 20″ or 24″.

This video tests the 6.5 Creedmoor Model 110 Tactical with multiple ammo types:

Four types of factory ammo were tested in above video: Hornady American Whitetail 129gr, American Eagle 140gr, Hornady Match 140gr ELD, S&B Tactical 140gr FMJ. Three sets of handloads were also tested. These used 130gr Hornady ELD, 130gr Nosler RDF, and 122 Lehigh CC bullets in Hornady brass. All handloads used H4350 powder and Federal primers. Accuracy was not bad with handloads.

Savage Tactical 110 AccuStock PRS Factory Class

Savage AccuFit System for Comb and LOP Adjustments
The 110 Tactical’s AccuFit system lets you customize comb height and length-of-pull with different comb risers and stock spacers that install easily. The AccuStock sub-chassis secures the action three-dimensionally along its entire length. This aids accuracy and shot-to-shot consistency.

Key Features
• AccuFit system for comb height and length-of-pull
• Detachable 10-round Magpul AICS magazine
• Threaded heavy barrel with end cap
• 20 MOA EGW rail
• Gray or Desert Tan synthetic stock
• Tactical oversized bolt handle

Left-Hand Version in .308 Win Only
Savage will offer a left-hand .308 Win version of the 110 Tactical. Sorry southpaw 6mm and 6.5 Creedmoor shooters — for now, only right-hand options are offered for those chamberings.

Read the rest of this entry »

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June 15th, 2018

What You Need to Know About Primers — Explained by an Expert

Primer Priming Tool Magnum primers foil anvil primer construction reloading powder CCI
Winchester Pistol Primers on bench. Photo courtesy UltimateReloader.com.

There is an excellent article about primers on the Shooting Times website. We strongly recommend you read Mysteries And Misconceptions Of The All-Important Primer, written by Allan Jones. Mr. Jones is a bona fide expert — he served as the manager of technical publications for CCI Ammunition and Speer Bullets and Jones authored three editions of the Speer Reloading Manual.

» READ Full Primer “Mysteries and Misconceptions” Article

This authoritative Shooting Times article explains the fine points of primer design and construction. Jones also reveals some little-known facts about primers and he corrects common misconceptions. Here are some highlights from the article:

Primer Priming Tool Magnum primers foil anvil primer construction reloading powder CCISize Matters
Useful Trivia — even though Small Rifle and Small Pistol primer pockets share the same depth specification, Large Rifle and Large Pistol primers do not. The standard pocket for a Large Pistol primer is somewhat shallower than its Large Rifle counterpart, specifically, 0.008 to 0.009 inch less.

Magnum Primers
There are two ways to make a Magnum primer — either use more of the standard chemical mix to provide a longer-burning flame or change the mix to one with more aggressive burn characteristics. Prior to 1989, CCI used the first option in Magnum Rifle primers. After that, we switched to a mix optimized for spherical propellants that produced a 24% increase in flame temperature and a 16% boost in gas volume.

Foiled Again
Most component primers have a little disk of paper between the anvil and the priming mix. It is called “foil paper” not because it’s made of foil but because it replaces the true metal foil used to seal early percussion caps. The reason this little disk exists is strictly a manufacturing convenience. Wet primer pellets are smaller than the inside diameter of the cup when inserted and must be compacted to achieve their proper diameter and height. Without the foil paper, the wet mix would stick to the compaction pins and jam up the assembly process.

Read Full Primer Story on ShootingTimes.com:
http://www.shootingtimes.com/ammo/ammunition_st_mamotaip_200909

VIDEOS about PRIMERS
Here are two videos that offer some good, basic information on primers:

Permalink - Videos, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading 2 Comments »
June 14th, 2018

Ten Great Father’s Day Gifts Under $100

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week
Photo courtesy Father’s Day Quotes

Father’s Day is Sunday, June 17, 2018, three days away. If your father enjoys the shooting sports, here are some recommended items that our staff owns or uses. All selections cost less than $100.00. It’s not too late to order for many of these items. If you have an Amazon Prime membership, you can get two-day shipping in most areas of the country. That’s enough time to get the gift to “Pops” by Sunday. But we bet Dad would appreciate any of these gift items, even if they arrived a few days later.


TEN Great Father’s Day Gifts for Dad Under $100.00

RCBS Partner Reloading Press

This Columbia Bahama II guide shirt is durable and comfortable. More importantly it provides UPF 30 protection from the sun’s damaging rays. The added cape over the shoulder area provides extra protection for shooters in the prone position. This is offered in 17 colors in breathable nylon. This is popular for fishing, sailing, hiking and other outdoors sports.

Howard Leight Electronic Muffs

These Howard Leight Electronic Muffs are Amazon’s #1 Seller in the Safety Ear Muffs category. These offer 22 dB sound protection with the ability to still hear conversations and range commands. For regular use, we do recommend running plugs under these muffs for higher effective NRR.

US Peacekeeper Tactical Shooting Mat

This is an excellent shooting mat — it is very well made with good padding/insulation. On gravel, concrete, or hard-packed ground this is way more comfortable than typical mats. It is wide enough and easy to fold. Any Dad who shoots would love this.

Lyman Ideal Brass Smith C-frame Reloading Press

Lyman’s new Ideal compact press works great as a second, lighter-duty press. It also is a good choice for loading at the range. It can easily be mounted to a bench with C-Clamps. This cast-iron press is stronger than other presses in its price class. The Lyman Ideal costs just $77.51 at Midsouth Shooters Supply.

Lyman Ideal Brass Smith C-frame Reloading Press

Fospower USB waterproof charging battery Amazon

The Fospower Battery Pack can charge your smartphone, tablet, and other USB-compatible devices. This is a great as a backup power source for a LabRadar chrono, or if you are using a tablet to monitor a TargetCam. Waterproof and shockproof, the rugged Fospower unit is built for outdoor use. On sale at Amazon.com for $26.99, this 10200 mAh Power Bank has been popular with our Forum members.

Bog-Pod Shooting Sticks Bipod Hunting

We’ve used Bog-Pod shooting supports on varmint hunts. They’re great for down-angle shots from a ridge or kneeling shots to get above terrain obstacles. Bog-Pods adjust from 17″ to 39″.

Midland 2-way 50 Chanel Radios

Walkie-Talkies are “must-have” items for long-range shooting. The 50-CH Midland GXT1000VP4 Two-Way Radio set is Amazon’s #1 Best Seller in FRS/GMRS Handheld Radios. Priced under $65.00, this kit includes earbuds plus both 12V and 120V chargers. Quick Weather Scan Feature.

Plano Airglide rifle transport case

Plano’s AirGlide case is a unique, top-loading rifle case. Ideal for benchrest guns with wide forearms, the AirGlide case puts no side-pressure on scopes. We like the ease of loading. This fits rifles up to about 27-28″ barrels.

MTM shooting range box gear hauler

The versatile MTM Range Box includes cradles so you can do gun maintenance while at the range. A lift-out tray holds small items such as patches and jags. This is a durable product that can hold ammo and other gear.

Stansport Shotshell Bottle Thermos Hunting

This cleverly-designed Shotshell thermos will make Dad smile. Styled just like a 12ga shotgun shell, the Stansport thermal bottle holds 25 oz. of hot or cold liquids.

Permalink Gear Review, Hot Deals 1 Comment »
June 14th, 2018

The Firearms Guide Online — Mother Lode of Gun Data

firearms guide 2016 Database 7th Edition Gun Values

This is the MOTHER LODE of GUN INFO. If you’d like to have instant access to 6,800 gun schematics and descriptions of 67,000 types of guns and ammo from 1,000 manufacturers, then check this out. The Firearms Guide is a humongous online database that is regularly updated. You can access all this info for pennies a day. The annual subscription is on sale right now for just $29.95. If you only need the info for a month or two, get a monthly membership at $6.50 per month, and cancel any time.

firearms guide 2016 Database 7th Edition Gun ValuesYou can also get a DVD or Flash Drive add-on that lets you access the database even without a web connection. A 1-year Online Edition PLUS Firearms Guide 8th Ed. DVD for Mac & Windows is $34.95, including shipping. Alternatively, the 1-year Online Edition PLUS Firearms Guide 8th Ed. Flash Drive for Mac & Windows is $44.95. This lets you access the data from laptops and most tablets with a USB port.

You may be familiar with the Firearms Guide when it was distributed as a DVD. Now the 7th Edition is a fully interactive, subscription-based online database of firearms and ammo, which is also the most complete guide to global gun values on the web. The amount of imagery is amazing — there are tens of thousands of photos and over 6300 schematics, which help you work on a firearm or identify key components/parts. Published since 2009, the Firearms Guide permits detailed searches of antique and modern guns and side by side comparisons of search results. Guns are cross-referenced with the ammunition database.

firearms guide 2016 Database 7th Edition Gun Values

Guns and ammo are presented with prices, specifications, features, ballistics, and up to 12 high-rez zoom-able color pictures. GUN VALUES are provided for dealers and gun collectors. You can access thousands of printable and zoom-able GUN SCHEMATICS (diagrams or exploded views) with parts lists and blueprints for professional gunsmiths.

firearms guide 2016 Database 7th Edition Gun Values

If you are a gun collector, or just an information junkie, you’ll find the Firearms Guide to be an invaluable resource. The scope is truly worldwide, with coverage of gun makers in Western Europe, Eastern Europe, South America, South Africa, and Asia as well as North America. The online database’s search capability lets you search by gun caliber, manufacturer, and key features (e.g. “.223 Rem, Colt, folding stock”). There are 14 different search criteria — this allows you to “drill down” precisely to find the gun you want in seconds. Shown below are typical profiles of listed products:

Firearms GuideFirearms Guide

About the Firearms Guide Database
Firearms Guide has been published from 2009 to 2015 on DVDs and sold through Cabelas, Bass Pro Shop, the NRA and other vendors. In 2016 Firearms Guide was transformed into a subscription-based, online searchable guns and ammo reference and gun value guide for industry professionals and enthusiasts. Along with the web subscription, you can purchase a supplemental DVD or Flash Drive which contains the same information for off-line access. Firearms Guide is a proud sponsor of the NRA.

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June 14th, 2018

Assess Scope Optical Performance Using ScopeCalc.com

ScopeCalc.com

Zeiss DiavariHunters and tactical shooters need scopes with good low-light performance. For a scope to perform well at dawn and dusk, it needs good light transmission, plus a reasonably large exit pupil to make maximum use of your eye’s light processing ability. And generally speaking, the bigger the front objective, the better the low-light performance, other factors being equal. Given these basic principles, how can we quickly evaluate the low-light performance of different makes and models of scopes?

Here’s the answer: ScopeCalc.com offers a FREE web-based Low-Light Performance Calculator that lets you compare the light gain, perceived brightness, and overall low-light performance of various optics. Using this scope comparison tool is pretty easy — just input the magnification, objective diameter, exit pupil size, and light transmission ratio. If the scope’s manufacturer doesn’t publish an exit pupil size, then divide the objective diameter in millimeters by the magnification level. For example a 20-power scope with a 40mm objective should have a 2mm exit pupil. For most premium scopes, light transmission rates are typically 90% or better (averaged across the visible spectrum). However, not many manufacturers publish this data, so you may have to dig a little.

ScopeCalc.com

ScopeCalc.com’s calculator can be used for a single scope, a pair of scopes, or multiple scopes. Once you’ve typed in the needed data, click “Calculate” and the program will produce comparison charts showing Light Gain, Perceived Brightness, and Low-Light Performance. Though the program is easy to use, and quickly generates comparative data, assessing scope brightness, as perceived by the human eye, is not a simple matter. You’ll want to read the annotations that appear below the generated charts. For example, ScopeCalc’s creators explain: “Perceived brightness is calculated as the cube root of the light gain, which is the basis for modern computer color space brightness scaling.”

Permalink Optics, Tech Tip Post comment »
June 13th, 2018

Great Video Series for Hunters and Long Range Shooters

Thomas Haugland long range shooting hunting hunter norway

There an excellent YouTube channel, THLR.NO, that offers videos for long-range hunters and marksmen. The channel’s creator, Thomas Haugland, is a serious, knowledgeable shooter, who takes his rifles out into the field, in all conditions. The THLR.NO channel offers solid advice on scopes, reticles, wind-reading, field positions, and much more. Haugland’s team puts a wide variety of gear through serious field tests — every thing from suppressors to packs to the latest electro-optical hardware. In addition the THLR.NO channel provides good advice on stalking techniques and hunting skills. Here are some recent videos that can help any rifleman.

How to Shoot Better with a Hunting Rifle

This “must-watch” video has great practical advice for hunters. It illustrates proper hand-hold and head position, and shows how to stay steady when breaking the shot. Even competition shooters can learn a few things. One viewer notes: “This was very informative. The footage through the scope showing how one’s position moves the sight alignment was particularly helpful.”

How to Gauge Wind Speed and Hold Off Using Reticles

This field video shows how to observe natural indicators — trees and vegetation — to estimate wind velocity. Then it shows how to calculate hold-offs using the reticle hash-marks. Thomas shoots a fast-cycling Blaser R93 rifle with Norma 6XC ammunition.

Thomas Haugland long range shooting hunting hunter norway

Thomas Haugland long range shooting hunting hunter norway

If you like these three videos, there are hundreds more on the THLR.NO YouTube channel. In addition, there is an excellent long-format video, Longrange Shooting 2, available on DVD or Vimeo on Demand. This impressive outdoors video features Thomas Haugland and Ulf Lindroth. Here is a preview:

Watch Longrange Shooting 2 on Vimeo:

Longrange Shooting 2 from Lindroth & Norin on Vimeo.

Permalink - Videos, Hunting/Varminting, Shooting Skills 1 Comment »
June 13th, 2018

Home-Built F-Open Rifle and Dual-Belt-Drive Front Rest

Tikka 590 Essex Custom

We like Do-It-Yourself (DIY) projects. It takes initiative, creativity, and dedication to make your own hardware, and that’s worth acknowledging. For you dedicated DIY guys, here’s a great project that should inspire. Here is an owner designed and crafted F-Open rig, complete with home-built, belt-drive front rest.

Some of our mechanically-skilled readers chamber their own barrels or bed their own stocks. But these are relatively simple tasks compared to the jobs of constructing an entire rifle plus building an advanced front rest from scratch. Well that’s exactly what Forum member Steve B. (aka Essexboy) did a couple seasons back. He built his own rifle and an impressive twin-belt-drive pedestal rest. (Click photo below for large version). And get this, Steve’s home-made rifle was victorious in its first-ever match. Steve reports: “I shot my first Comp with the rifle … and managed to win with a score of 239-21!” (The match was shot at 300/500/600/1000/1100 with English scoring of 5 points for center bullseye).

Do-It-Yourself F-Open Rig from England
Steve, who hails from Essex in the UK, constructed virtually every component of his skeleton-style rifle except the 28″ HV Bartlein barrel (chambered as a 6mm Dasher) and the Tikka 590 donor action. Steve also did all the design and fabrication work on his one-of-a-kind front rest. Steve tells us: “Over the last year or so, I made this rifle stock and rest. I managed to make it all on a little Myford Lathe, as you can tell I’m no machinist but it saved me a load of money — so far I’ve got about $200 invested plus the barrelled action. The stock is aluminum except for the stainless steel bag runner. The rifle came in at one ounce under weight limit for F-Class Open division.” Steve did get help with the chambering and barrel-fitting, but he hopes to do all the barrel work himself on his next project.

Tikka 590 Essex CustomThe gun is very accurate. Steve notes: “I have shot the rifle to 1100 yards and it shoots well. Last time out the rifle dropped just one point at 1000 yards and 5 points at 1100 yards [English scoring system]. I know it’s not pretty, but it got me shooting long range F-Class for peanuts.” Message to Steve: Don’t worry how it looks. As another Forum member observed: “Any rifle that shoots well at 1100 yards is beautiful….”

Steve started with a Tikka 590 action: “The whole stock was made on a small (6.5×13) lathe and a vertical slide. This caused a few head scratching moments, figuring out how to hold the T6/HE30 alloy for the milling/turning operations, but it did teach me a few things. The hardest parts were clamping the longer sections (such as the fore-end) and keeping it all square. Due to the short cross-slide travel I had to keep re-setting the parts. I managed to keep all measurements to 0.001″ (one thousandth). I’m most proud of the trigger guard (photo below). This took a full day but came out really well, even if I say so myself.”

Tikka 590 Essex Custom

Belt-Driven Front Rest
We’re impressed with Steve’s ingenious front rest. Steve explains: “The rest is belt-driven and still in the experimental stage — hence no powder coating or polishing yet. I may have gone over the top as the key moving parts (the pulleys) run on three (3) types of bearings: radial; reamed bush; and a ball race. The main post runs on a radial bearing and the feet even have bearings in them, so when I raise the main body up (for rough height adjustment) the foot stays static.”

Tikka 590 Essex Custom

Will Steve build another rifle? Steve says he will, and he’s upgraded his tools: “Since building the rifle I have acquired a bigger lathe (Harrison m250) and a milling machine. For the next project I hope to be able to do the barrel work (threading, chambering, crowning) as well.” The next gun might be another Dasher. Steve explains: “After extensive reading on AccurateShooter.com, I chose the 6mm Dasher chambering, as I have a shoulder problem and can’t shoot a rifle with a lot of recoil.”

Permalink Competition, Gunsmithing 3 Comments »